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Music students say aloha from Hawaii

On Thursday, March 23rd a large group of students from the LHS performing arts department met at DIA to depart for Hawaii. Faculty members Don Emmons, Jim Farrell and Dr. Amy Oaks have been planning for this trip for over a year.

Members from band, orchestra and choir were all able to go on the trip, and each group prepared performance songs for the trip, including a couple combined pieces involving all of the groups.

The group stayed in Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii. They were there for about 5 days, and were busy almost every second. On their first day there, they got lots of beach time and pool time to make up for the long day of travel they had just endured.

“The trip was really fun, even with high expectations. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would,” said freshman Natalie Parkhurst.

The students ended their day at a local high school where they got to watch the school put on a play and several songs from their musical. Littleton also performed for the Hawaiian school, and after both performances, they all ate a traditional Hawaiian meal which the parents of the Hawaiian students had prepared.

“My favorite part of the trip was visiting the high school. The students who performed were phenomenal,” said sophomore Skylar Stugart.

The next day the students suited up (in lovely purple Hawaiian shirts and khaki pants) and headed to Pearl Harbor, where they were to perform at the USS Missouri for soldiers and guests. During the performance it began to rain. At first students were upset about the rain until a worker told them that Hawaiians believe that when it rains it is a blessing, and the students had blessed Pearl Harbor with their music. After a moving performance, the students toured the USS Missouri. They also got the opportunity to visit the USS Arizona Memorial, which was very somber.

The same day the students got a bus tour of Waikiki and got to see the capital, the palace of the former princess and the statue that is in the opening scenes from popular TV show, Hawaii Five Oh.

The next day the students left the city of Waikiki and were taken to the more jungly parts of Oahu. They visited Pauli Lookout, which was a beautiful overlook of the jungle and rolling hills of Hawaii. Students loved this area, and it was very windy. Their next stop was Kualoa Ranch. This is a very famous spot where many movies and TV shows have been filmed, including Lost, Hawaii Five 0, 50 first dates and Jurassic Park. The students got a guided bus tour of the whole ranch and got to stop at famous movie scenes, including the tree from Jurassic Park.

After Kualoa Ranch, the students drove to the Polynesian Cultural Center, where they got to see a river parade. This consisted of many cultural hula dancers dancing on a raft floating down the river for the audiences to see. The students got to experience the culture in different ways. Some learned how to chant an island song,  and others learned to play ukulele with Dr. Oaks. They also got to go to a luau there, where they experienced live entertainment, authentic Hawaiian food and lots of dancing. Junior Alex Green was selected to be in a hula dance battle with traditional hula dancers, and received a thunderous applause from the audience.

This was where the groups had their last performance, and probably the biggest audience.

¨Performing outside was kind of rough. Even though there were a few mishaps, the performances weren’t too bad,” said Parkhurst.

The next day was all play. The students hiked Diamond Head trail, which was an old volcano and world war two bunker. There were over 500 stairs, a tight, dark tunnel to climb through and it was very hot. However, this didn’t stop the Colorado students from hiking. Most students would agree that the hike was well worth the effort, especially since the view at the top was phenomenal. At the top of Diamond head, there was a beautiful ocean view as well as a view of the entire city of Honolulu.

After the hike, students were given free time for shopping and beach relaxtion. They then boarded a huge cruise ship for a sunset cruise. The cruise offered beautiful ocean views, tasty Hawaiian food, music, dancers and of course lots of fun.

On their final day, the students headed to the secret island, which they had to take a boat to get to. The secret island is a tiny little beach tucked away in the jungle. The students had over 4 hours to relax, paddle board, canoe, and play volleyball. It was a very relaxing end to a busy trip.

After they enjoyed some time at the secret island, the students took a long bus tour of the north shore of Oahu. Many students fell asleep, while others enjoyed the scenery.

Their last stop was the Dole Pineapple Plantation, where pineapples are grown and shipped all over the world. Students were able to enjoy fresh fruit and the world famous Dole Whip, which was basically a pineapple icecream.

From there, the students said Aloha to Hawaii and boarded a red eye flight back to Denver.

The trip was short, but it was very memorable for the students.

¨I thought the trip was lots of fun. it gave us lots of time to hang out with friends,¨ said  Stugart.

Students had a great time on this trip, and they understand it would not be possible without the hard work of the music department. 

The whole LHS Hawaii performing arts group after a performance at the Polynesian Cultural Center

¨Farrell and Emmons worked really hard to make this trip go smoothly,¨ said junior Kat Gilmore.

Littelton has a fantastic music program that offers great opportunities for students to travel and see the world.